Many people, today, have a lot to say when asked how they became Christians (Born Again Christians); whilst some don’t even know how they became Christians. For those who claim to know when asked, they make statements such as: “I was born into a Christian home and that is what makes me a Christian”; “I go to Church regularly and so by default, I am a Christian”; “My parents are Christians and that automatically makes me a Christian”; and some would even go to the extent of saying “My prayers were answered when I went with a friend to a Church; I continued to attend services in Church, therefore I think I’m a Christian”. And others have varying explanations as to why or how they think they became a Christian.
Aside the above described group of people, there are some who have been lured to Church because they have been told or sold a stunt that for their life’s challenges to change for the better, they have to become Christians. These challenges could range from a long and pending desire to be married; a pending desire to have children after years of marriage; a desperate need to succeed in business or other money making institutes; to being relieved or shielded from the evil and demonic attacks from family members, friends or even loved ones. And for many others, it’s just another fad in town that they must respond to.
No matter what you sell in today’s society, many people are already waiting to respond and become followers as long as one thing or the other has been promised as gain. So you must sell the benefits whether there is a way or steps to realizing the benefits.
This shouldn’t be a reason to becoming a Christian. The above excuses or reasons are no reasons to becoming a Christian, they are just ways that men (mankind) have concocted and fabricated, especially in their minds on how one should become a Christian. None of the aforementioned will get anyone saved. This is not the salvation that Jesus came to die for; it is not the salvation God intended for us. Please walk with me on this one.
Christianity is NOT about looking at what we can get from God but looking and responding to what God has done for us through Christ Jesus. Now this is the theory!
When Jesus was betrayed into the hands of the Jews to be crucified, little did His disciples know or remember the many times He told them about bringing down a temple and that temple would be rebuilt in three days – they didn’t know or realize He was talking about Himself. He is the temple of God and the tapestry crafted by Him was further confirmed when He said in the gospels that the son of MAN would be killed and after three days He would be raised from the dead. He said this over and over again – counting up to about eight times in one of the gospel history.
To confirm that this story of being raised up from the dead was known by all and sundry including His enemies, a guard was stationed at the tomb where He was buried so that no one would at any point in time fabricate a story that indeed, He was raised from the dead by coming to steal the body. The high Priests and the Pharisees arranged a meeting with Pilate (the Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection anyway); they said to the Pilate, “Sir, we just remembered that, that liar announced while He was still alive, ‘After three days I will be raised.’ We’ve got to get that tomb sealed until the third day. There’s a good chance His disciples will come and steal the corpse and then go around saying, ‘He’s risen from the dead.’ Then we’ll be worse off than before, the final deceit surpassing the first.” Pilate told them, “You will have a guard. Go ahead and secure it the best you can.” So they went out and secured the tomb, sealing the stone and posting guards.
One would also have expected that despite Jesus’ plethora of lecture to His disciples at various times, the disciples would remember and be present at the burial ground (as we call it today), waiting for the Master to be raised from the dead; rather they were contemplating on going back to their businesses (fishing). As far as they were concerned, it was all an episode that had come to an end. None of them remembered what He said although they were eyewitnesses when Jesus raised people from the dead.
At this time, Jesus had been killed; He had been crucified to the cross and also had been buried. Had it all stopped there, nobody would be saved because His disciples were not even thinking about the next agenda on God’s timetable. They never thought about the day of Pentecost and what God was about for the generations unborn. At this juncture, the salvation couldn’t have been predicated on the death of Jesus alone not to talk about His crucifixion on the cross; something else had to happen.
Mary Magdalene, early on the first day of the week whilst it was still dark, went to the tomb only to find out the stone had been rolled away. She ran back to Peter and the other disciples to report that they had taken away their Masters’ body and wandering where they (don’t know who she was referring to) had taken Him to. She could not even remember what the Master told them; she could not even think if Jesus had been raised from the dead or anything positive; her mind gravitated towards the negative. He couldn’t have been raised from the dead; someone else must have come to pick Him up from the tomb – SHE WAS WRONG. This is exactly how we think when we come across any challenge – it’s always in the negative. She never knew it was God’s way of bringing them back as part of the people that will herald the next phase after the outbreak at Golgotha and Calvary.
All the disciples were alarmed at this postulated story of Mary (she had no proof) and immediately they all ran and went down to the graveyard. On getting there, they confirmed Mary was right (she wasn’t) and went back to where they were staying without questions while Mary stood there and wept about her unsubstantiated story. She waited at the graveyard and wept sore, looked back into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been laid. They asked her why she was crying and she related her story to them. She turned back and saw Jesus standing by but didn’t realize it was Him. It was not until Jesus called her name before she realized how wrong she had been.
In her mind, there would be a transformation from what she thought she knew into the present truth she was facing; they didn’t take Him away after all; no one stole His body but that the story of Salvation could be told and the next phase of God’s timetable could start, using Mary and His disciples. She was now faced with going back to give the disciples the RIGHT information. So she went and told them, “I have seen the Lord”. He was not taken away; He was raised from the dead. Jesus had to appear again to His disciples and instructed them to go and wait for Him at the Upper Room before they became energized to start the next phase in God’s agenda.
Imagine Jesus was not raised from the dead; the disciples would have just looked at Mary and her many fabricated stories about who she thought took Jesus away from the tomb. That is the story of SALVATION. It is the belief that Jesus was raised from the dead. This is what being a Christian is predicated upon.
We can therefore say that our Christianity (or the belief in Jesus) is predicated on the fact that HE WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD.
If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t because He was indeed dead. And if Christ wasn’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries – Apostle Paul